A Letter of Mary Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of A Letter of Mary

In the third volume in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, two more years have passed and the unlikely but sharp-minded couple are now married. A friend they met during their brief time in Palestine four years before, an amateur archaeologist named Dorothy Ruskin, returns to England to raise money for her projects and gives Mary Russell a beautiful carved wooden box from Renaissance Italy. Inside is a sheet of papyrus -- partly in Greek, partly in Hebrew, partly in Aramaic -- that purports to have been written by Mary of Magdala, an apostle of Jesus, shortly before the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD. Within a day, Ruskin is killed by a car, and Russell and Holmes suspect foul play. As always, the mystery itself is not all that gripping, but the writing is delightful, and King has extra fun with a supporting cast that includes Mycroft Holmes, Scotland Yard Inspector Lestrade (the son of the original Lestrade from the 1880s), a cameo by Lord Peter Wimsey, and even a passing mention of an English lit scholar with a passion for Anglo-Saxon poetry and runes whom Mary encounters at Oxford, by the name of Tolkien.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of A Letter of Mary

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   very upbeat How difficult to spot villain?    -   Somewhat obvious Time/era of story:    -   1900-1920's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   40% Kind of investigator    -   british mystery (I say!) Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   British


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   London    -   dangerous

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Unusual forms of death    -   run over Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Laurie R. King Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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